Compulsory chapel for Minn. lawyers, cont’d

In the state of Minnesota, lawyers can lose their licenses unless they complete two credits every three years in what is called “Elimination of Bias” training, which resembles what is known in other contexts as diversity or sensitivity training. As we commented two years ago (see Dec. 18, 2001): “The point is less to regulate attorneys’ conduct than to instill in them opinions that the authorities consider correct about complex political and moral questions, and many of the resulting seminars have had a tendentious, preachy anti- white- male tone.” Now an attorney named Elliot Rothenberg has taken the matter to the Minnesota Supreme Court by defying the requirement. “The Board of Continuing Legal Education recommended last June that Rothenberg?s license be placed on involuntary restricted status” because of his refusal to submit to the training. “Rothenberg argues that the rule violates his free-speech rights and the Establishment Clause, which prohibits government endorsement of particular religious viewpoints.” (Barbara L. Jones, “Lawyer challenges two-credit anti-bias requirement”, Minnesota Lawyer, Nov. 17, subscriber-only article; website about the case by Peter Swanson, a lawyer who has filed an amicus brief in Rothenberg’s favor) More: Power Line has a summary with many further details. (& see Jan. 2). Update: Aug. 4, 2005.



    Minnesotan attorneys are required to take courses on “Elimination of Bias” to maintain their license to practice law. As reported recently by Overlawyered and in today’s Power Line post (which contains the full text of today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune …

  • What’s All This Fuss Over Anti-Bias CLE in Minnesota?

    “pointer dude” Recently, there’s been a lot of weblog space given to the interesting question of whether Minnesota lawyers should be forced to take three hours every three years of “anti-bias” continuing legal education.

  • Anti-Bias CLE is Not Indoctrination

    We posted earlier today that Minnesota attorney Elliot Rothenberg has lost his fight before the Minnesota Supreme Court to eliminate an anti-bias continuing legal education requirement for the State’s lawyers.